Brand Spankin' New 15 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Brand Spankin' New 15 gallon

Hello everyone,

So this is my journal highlighting my super noob attempt at a decent planted tank.

The tank has been running for about a month now.

Fauna:
1 Apple Snail named Marcel (Marcel the Shell)

Flora:
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Echinodorus tennellus
Crypts (undulata and red wendth)
Java Moss
Red Ludwigia

Substrate is flourite and white sand. Lighting is 2 14w vertical CFLs.

Here is the tank with the java moss carpet planted on the right side. I think the carpet came out pretty well! I'm going to carpet the left side of the tank once I get some more java moss.

*Sorry for the stupidly terrible picture quality. Had to take it with my phone.



1.) I will probably need more lighting for the micro sword... If I do need more lighting, would another 14w CFL do it? Or should I swap out the two I have for 19w ones? Comments or suggestions are welcome!
2.) I want to stay away from CO2 if possible, would these plants do okay without it? Maybe dose some flourish excel or something?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so the water has cleared up a bit. I have a couple new pictures! Quality of the pictures is still atrocious, but oh well.

Here is the java moss carpet I did... I think it came out pretty well for a first attempt.


Here are a couple full tank shots...





I'll be adding more plants and another java moss carpet on the left side shortly. Any comments/suggestions? Thanks!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I think I am going to need more light to accommodate some of the plants, but I've yet to receive a suggestion about how much light I'll need. Should I put in another 14w CFL? Or take out the two 14w CFLs I have now and replace them with 19w ones?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:46 AM
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I love the look. I especially like what you did with the rock and, what looks like maybe petrified wood(?).

How did you get the moss to stay where you put it?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, it is petrified wood (well... it was sold as petrified wood, but some of it looks like just regular ol' rocks).

As for the java moss carpet, I took vinyl, cut it up to fit the contours of the hill, and tied the moss to it with thread. I like it better than the slate approach because it is paper thin, bendable, but still sinks.

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:58 AM
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Awesome hardscape, you are off to a good start.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks synaethetic!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post
Flora:
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Echinodorus tennellus
Crypts (undulata and red wendth)
Java Moss
Red Ludwigia
The light is okay. But the substrate doesn't contain enough nutrients for the plants. You need root tabs. API or DIY with oscomote vege. ferts.

DIY Osmocote root tabs
2 grams of into ice tray. Top with 3 ml. of water. Freeze. Before inserting break them in , unless its a huge sword plant or giant crypt. Osmocote will float unless you let them soak for a minute or two and shake the tray around a little before freezing.

Also the ludwiga needs iron. Good source is Brightwell aquatics FlorinFE
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Osmocote, eh... well alright then... Ill make a trip to the store today! Can I dose flourish instead of root tabs? I already have a bottle of flourish somewhere.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post
Can I dose flourish instead of root tabs? I already have a bottle of flourish
No for the crypts need the root tabs. Can use the flourish instead of the FlorinFe though.

LNT.com has the cheapest root tabs. My favorite is the API brand.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:25 PM
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I know some people on the sns power seller section sell osmocote capsules that would work well. You can probably find a really good deal there.

This looks like a good start, keep us updated!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip chyrol.

I went out and bought my fish yesterday! Green Fire Tetras. I had kept Harlequin Rasboras and Rummynose Tetras before, but wanted to try something a little different. I haven't seen Green Fire Tetras around much, but I have to say, they are awesome! Pics to come later today!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 11:20 PM
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No problem. I can't wait to see some pictures of the new inhabitants!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post
1 Apple Snail named Marcel (Marcel the Shell)
<3!!!!
Sorry, that was SO necessary.

Your hardscape is spot on as well.
^+1 on the osmocote BUT
IMO you don't necessarily need root tabs. Just fertilize in some way. Macros and micros, and so on. flourite is more or less inert, but you can still grow stuff in it without root ferts being necessary. It would def. help, though. I grew crypts just fine without them in a similar baked clay substrate, though I did have a bit of mulm built up.

Ludwigia doesn't NEED added iron. I'm doing just fine without. It would help a tad but NOT essential.
Microswords are probably going to give you the hardest time. I would split the mat up into little plugs though. I'd also switch out your bulbs instead of buying another fixture, your light distribution looks pretty good already. Are you using brooder lamps for that? Good start.
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